Bid to create OFW department questioned in Senate

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 28, 2019   •   1510

Overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong often gather in parks and other public places during their rest day

Senator Franklin Drilon questioned the bid to create an Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Department as it may politicize the P19-B OFW trust fund.

During the Senate Committee on Labor and Employment’s hearing on Tuesday (Aug 27), Drilon expressed concern that creating a separate department would open the use of the trust fund to the hands of politicians.

“Whoever will have control of this department being proposed to be created will have in his control P40-B in 10 years time. It is even beyond the scrutiny of Congress,” he said.

The fund came from the contributions of OFWs and is lodged under the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). It will be used to provide assistance to OFWs.

Drilon also questioned the change of decision of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) since the department had previously opposed the proposal.

“What has changed? For the longest time, the mindset is not to create a separate department for OFWs,” he said during the hearing. “By creating a new department, the inevitable conclusion is the DOLE is lacking the abilities to protect the OFWs, which I don’t agree.”

The chair of the committee, Sen. Joel Villanueva, and Sen. Nancy Binay also questioned the labor department for changing its position. —AAC

Piñol to run for senator, resigns from MinDA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines— Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has resigned from his post to vie for a senatorial seat in the 2022 national elections.

In a Facebook post, Piñol announced that he has tendered his resignation which will take effect on October 5.

Piñol served as the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary from June 30, 2016 to August 5, 2019 and as chairman of the MinDA from August 5, 2019 to October 5, 2021.

“I have reached a decision to vie for a seat in the Philippine Senate to pursue my advocacy to help the Filipino farmers and fishermen become more productive while at the same time ensuring food security and economic prosperity in the country,” he said in his post.

The official added that friends have pledged their support by lending vehicles and volunteering to print tarps and campaign in the field. He will run under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and will pursue programs for farmers and boost the country’s agriculture.

“Our mission is clear and precise: Let us turn the Philippines into a major producer in Agriculture and Fisheries in this part of the world while at the same time create income and job opportunities so that our loved ones do not have to leave home to find work abroad,” Piñol said. AAC

 

Quarantine period para sa mga OFW, pinag-aaralang paikliin sa 5-7 araw – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Pinag-aaralan na ng pamahalaan ang posibleng pagpapaikli sa ipinatutupad na quarantine period para sa mga umuuwing overseas Filipino workers (OFW) na bakunado na kontra COVID-19.

“Pinag-uusapan na po namin sa IATF, in fact, pina-finalize lang po namin ito na maging five to seven days na lang ang quarantine period sa mga vaccinated po,” ani Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año sa kanyang ulat kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte noong Huwebes.

Sa kasalukuyan, ang mga international passenger na galing sa green countries at fully vaccinated na ay sumasailalim na lamang sa 7-day facility based quarantine at 3-day home-based quarantine pagdating ng mga ito sa bansa.

Ang green list ay kinabibilangan ng mga bansang itinuturing na low-risk sa COVID-19 batay sa incidence rate at case count.

Ang yellow list naman ay moderate risk habang ang nasa red list ay itinuturing na high risk.

Sa ngayon, ang British Overseas Territory na Bermuda lang ang nasa red list habang 49 bansa naman ang nasa green list.

Ang mga tinatawag na green countries ay ang mga sumusunod:

  • American Samoa
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chad
  • China (mainland)
  • Comoros
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  • Hungary, Madagascar
  • Mali
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Poland
  • Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands)
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Taiwan
  • Algeria
  • Bhutan
  • Cook Islands
  • Eritrea
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Korea
  • Saint Helena
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Yemen

Nasa yellow list naman ang mga bansang hindi nabanggit sa mga nasabing kategorya.

Ang updated list ng territories ay epektibo mula Oktubre 1 hanggang 15.

Senate approves bill extending voter registration for 1 month

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Senate on Monday (September 27) approved on third and final reading a bill extending voter registration by 30 days.

Senate Bill No. 2408, an Act Extending the Registration of Voters for the 2022 National and Local Elections, was unanimously approved by all senators and agreed that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) needed to be compelled to move the deadline after its continued rejection of the proposal.

Senator Miguel Zubiri, main sponsor of the bill, said there is no need for a bicameral meeting as the Senate will adopt the House of Representatives’ version of the bill. He added that the final version will be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature.

“Hopefully the President will sign this request,” Zubiri said.

The extension of voter registration, according to Zubiri,  would prevent the disenfranchisement of about 12 million eligible voters.

In the bill’s explanatory note, the senators stressed that almost six months of the registration period was lost when strict lockdowns were imposed during the pandemic. More days were lost too when areas were reverted back to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)or modified ECQ.

Comelec set the voter registration deadline to September 30, which was before the pandemic, the senators said.

“In this connection, Comelec could not have anticipated the adverse impact of the pandemic on voter registration and must make the necessary adjustments to allow more unregistered potential voters to register. In fact, voter registration was suspended several times due to the adverse effect of Covid-19,” the senators added. AAC

 

 

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